Ryman One North: Dereham Town prepare for tough run with battling victory against Barkingside
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Dereham Town boss Matt Henman was left delighted after his side recorded a deserved 4-2 win over Ryman North strugglers Barkingside.
'We said before the game that getting three points today was more important than the performance and I'm delighted to come away from the game with three vital points,' said Henman, pictured below.
'It's a great way to start what we know is going to be a tough month; we have got some hard games to come against the likes of Witham and Maldon so to have got three points today gives all of us a huge boost.
'The win today moves us up into sixth place in the table and while teams around us have played a few more games than us, if we keep our standards high we will give ourselves the best possible chance of staying around the play-off places.
'Over the last few games we have probably played better than we have today, but we dug in deep and have shown that we can grind out results even when we are not playing at our best.'
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Both sides started slowly, but it was the hosts who struck first, with 15 minutes on the clock, when Adam Smith's in-swinging corner sailed into the top left-hand corner of Leigham Stone's net.
After the goal Dereham started to dominate proceedings, and they went close to adding to their lead soon after.
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But with 37 minutes on the clock a mishit clearance from Gary Starling landed in the back of the Magpies net, pulling the visitors level, against the run of play.
However, just seconds later Starling's powerful free-kick was met by Luke Tuttle in a crowded penalty area, and the striker's powerful shot deflected off Bobby Port to restore the hosts' lead.
But, with half-time approaching, Smith bought down Dan Hayes in the penalty area and Barkingside striker Matt Gulfer converted from the spot to ensure the sides went in level at the break.
After half-time Dereham continued to press and just four minutes after the break Tuttle's powerful long-range effort forced Stone into a excellent diving save as Dereham struggled to make their pressure tell.
During a frustrating and scrappy second half the game finally came to life with 15 minutes to go, starting when big striker Shaun Bammant turned well under pressure before firing home to restore the Magpies lead.
Just five minutes later the referee awarded Dereham a dubious penalty after spotting some shirt pulling in the six-yard box. Tuttle then stepped up and fired home his second goal of the game to move the Magpies up to sixth position in the table.
Dereham: Viner, Willis, Starling, Borrer, Howard, Ward, Kay (Howell 70), Smith, Bammant (Bussens 82) Tuttle, Beaumont (Hawkins 59). Subs not used: Powley.
Barkingside: Stone, Port, Mackin, Crossley, Ellis, Waldron, Hayes, Davie, Suchley (Ramsey 84), Gulfer, Francis (Poku 74). Subs not used: Frew.
Referee: C Pearce.